Worlds Water Polo: U.S. Uses Penalty Shootout to Top Hungary, Finish Fifth

Photo Courtesy: Sherie Key/USAWP

Worlds Water Polo: U.S. Uses Penalty Shootout to Top Hungary, Finish Fifth

The United States required a penalty shootout to defeat Hungary, 15-13, in the fifth-place game at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka on Friday.

Amanda Longan made 10 saves in regulation, then Ashleigh Johnson stepped in to provide a crucial block as the U.S. won the shootout, 4-2. Jordan Raney’s goal sealed it, the U.S. going 4-for-4 in the shootout.

Hungary just never went away in regulation. The U.S. led by two goals on three occasions in the second half, but a Kamilla Farago goal with 2:12 left tied the game at 11. The U.S. couldn’t convert on a power play with 43 seconds left, and Hungary had two looks to win it in the final minute, Longan denying a Farago shot with three seconds left.

Farago started the penalty shootout by missing her attempt, and Ryann Neushul put the U.S. up. A stop by Johnson on Kata Hadju in the second round deepened the hole for the Hungarians. Jenna Flynn, Maggie Steffens and Raney converted to give the U.S. fifth place.

The four-time reigning champions lost in the quarterfinals to Italy, 8-7, then routed Canada in the placement semifinals, 16-4, on Wednesday. The U.S. went 5-1 in their stay in Fukuoka.

Raney led the way, going 4-for-4 from the field, including the shootout winner. Steffens, Maddie Musselman, Neushul and Jewel Romer scored twice each. Kaleigh Gilchrist supplied six assists.

Musselman was recognized before the game as World Aquatics’ Women’s Water Polo Athlete of the Year.

Rita Keszthelyi scored five times for Hungary. Zsuszanna Mate and Dorottya Szilagyi tallied twice each. The U.S. held Hungary to just 34 percent shooting (13-for-38).

There was no such drama Wednesday, with the U.S. blowing out France. The U.S. led 5-1 after one quarter, Johnson making eight saves and not allowing the Canadians more than one goal in any quarter.

Flynn scored five times on five shots. Rachel Fattal and Emily Ausmus each added hat tricks. Tara Prentice had two goals and an assist, Raney a goal and two helpers.

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